Letters from a Stoic Epistulae Morales Ad Lucilium

ISBN-10: 0140442103
ISBN-13: 9780140442106
Edition: 1969
List price: $16.00 Buy it from $6.86
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Description: The power and wealth which Seneca the Younger (c.4B.C.-A.D. 65) acquired as Nero's minister were in conflict with his Stoic beliefs. Nevertheless he was the outstanding figure of his age. The Stoic philosophy which Seneca professed in his writings,  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.00
Copyright year: 1969
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 7/30/1969
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.396
Language: English

The power and wealth which Seneca the Younger (c.4B.C.-A.D. 65) acquired as Nero's minister were in conflict with his Stoic beliefs. Nevertheless he was the outstanding figure of his age. The Stoic philosophy which Seneca professed in his writings, later supported by Marcus Aurelius, provided Rome with a passable bridge to Christianity. Seneca's major contribution to Stoicism was to spiritualize and humanize a system which could appear cold and unrealistic. Selected from the Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, these letters illustrate the upright ideals admired by the Stoics and extol the good way of life as seen from their standpoint. They also reveal how far in advance of his time were many of Seneca's ideas -- his disgust at the shows in the arena or his criticism of the harsh treatment of slaves. Philosophical in tone and written in the 'pointed' style of the Latin Silver Age these 'essays in disguise' were clearly aimed by Seneca at posterity. Book jacket.

Seneca was born in Spain of a wealthy Italian family. His father, Lucius Annaeus Seneca (see Vol. 4), wrote the well-known Controversaie (Controversies) and Suasoriae (Persuasions), which are collections of arguments used in rhetorical training, and his nephew Lucan was the epic poet of the civil war. Educated in rhetoric and philosophy in Rome, he found the Stoic doctrine especially compatible. The younger Seneca became famous as an orator but was exiled by the Emperor Claudius. He was recalled by the Empress Agrippina to become the tutor of her son, the young Nero. After the first five years of Nero's reign, Agrippina was murdered and three years later Octavia, Nero's wife, was exiled. Seneca retired as much as possible from public life and devoted himself to philosophy, writing many treatises at this time. But in 65 he was accused of conspiracy and, by imperial order, committed suicide by opening his veins. He was a Stoic philosopher and met his death with Stoic calm. Seneca's grisly tragedies fascinated the Renaissance and have been successfully performed in recent years. All ten tragedies are believed genuine, with the exception of Octavia, which is now considered to be by a later writer. Translations of the tragedies influenced English dramatists such as Jonson (see Vol. 1), Marlowe (see Vol. 1), and Shakespeare (see Vol. 1), who all imitated Seneca's scenes of horror and his characters---the ghost, nurse, and villain.

Introduction
Seneca's Life
Seneca and Philosophy
Seneca and Literature
His letters and other writings
His style
His influence and appeal
Note on translation and text
Postscript
Letters
Notes
Bibliography
Tacitus' account of Seneca's death
Index of persons and places

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